Trinidad and Tobago: AG revising dangerous dog law

Trinidad and Tobago has had BSL in place since 2000 (regulating “pit bulls,” Japanese Tosa, and Fila Brasiliero), but the Act has never been enforced. A recent spate of highly-publicized dog attacks has brought the issue of dangerous dogs to the forefront.

T&T’s high crime rate, particularly violent crime, has encouraged individuals to acquire and keep large, unaltered, unsocialized, untrained yard dogs for guarding and protection. These large dogs include “pot hounds” (local term for a mutt), “pit bulls,” Rottweilers, Akitas, German Shepherds, and so on. Compounding the problem, the large guard dogs get loose and roam around in neighborhoods. As you can imagine, when one combines weak laws, poor enforcement, misuse of dogs, and irresponsible dog ownership, the outcome hasn’t been safe or pleasant.

The government of T&T now plans to revise their dangerous dog law. Unfortunately, the Attorney General indicates that the revisions are likely to be breed-specific.

“If the dog is there to warn when a bandit coming then that is one thing,” he said, adding that one didn’t need a pit bull for that. “A pompek [a Pomeranian-Pekingese crossbreed that is popular in T&T ] can be used for that. So those who wish to own dangerous dogs they would really have to face some onerous restrictions in my view,” he said.

The full article about the dog law revisions can be read here: http://news.barbadostoday.bb/barticlenew.php?ptitle=AG%20promises%20’dangerous%20dog%20bill’&article=5624

For residents of T&T and others who wish to weigh in on the dog law revisions, the Attorney General stated that a review team chaired by the Chairman of the Law Reform Commission, Samraj Haripaul, had been receiving submissions and correspondence from the public. The AG hopes to have the revisions brought to Parliament by June 13.

The Attorney General’s office contact information:
Ministry of the Attorney General, Cabildo Chambers, 23-27 St. Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Tel: 868-623-7010
Fax: 868-624-1986
Email: communication@ag.gov.tt
Website with feedback form: http://www.ag.gov.tt

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